2 Book Reviews


Title: The Sandman vol. 8: The World's End
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: Hardback, 168
Published: 1994
Opening Lines: "Looking back on it, the thing that still surprises me is my own reaction to it all."

"When Brant and Charlene wreck their car in a horrible snowstorm in the middle of nowhere, the only place they can find shelter is a mysterious little inn called World's End. Here they wait out the storm and listen to stories from the many travelers also stuck at this tavern. These tales exemplify Neil Gaiman's gift for storytelling--and his love for the very telling of them. This volume has almost nothing to do with the larger story of the Sandman, except for a brief foreshadowing nod. It's a nice companion to the best Sandman short story collection, Dream Country, (and it's much better than the hodgepodge Fables and Reflections). World's End works best as a collection--it's a story about a story about stories--all wrapped up in a structure that's clever without being cute, and which features an ending nothing short of spectacular."
Thoughts: Wanting to go into Medieval Studies, I really enjoyed the "Chaucerian" element behind this graphic novel. I really like the concept of several strangers meeting in an inn and telling stories to pass the time.

I enjoyed this book. It didn't seem connected to the previous volume. A few times, The Endless make appearances throughout the book, and it ends with Brant seeing them in a procession across the sky. For the most part, I really liked the art style. To me, poor art can take away from the story.


Rating: 5/5
Currently: The Sandman vol. 9: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman
Pages: 4698
Horror/Urban Fantasy Challenge: 11/24



Title: Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: Hardback, 128
Published: 2009
Opening Lines: "Where am I?"

"Following the death of Bruce Wayne in last year's Batman: R.I.P. arc comes Gaiman's loving eulogy not just to Batman but to the Batman of each era since the character's debut. Bolstered by slick art from Kubert (Batman; Captain America), Gaiman's lyrical chops are in fine form, weaving a surreal wake in which characters from Batman's history take turns relating what he meant to them, and their takes on the Dark Knight and the dangerous microcosm he fought for and eventually purportedly died to protect. Although this is obviously a love letter from one of the comics medium's premiere talents, the volume will appeal more to readers well-versed in Batman's continuity than Gaiman's normal legion of fans As the finished story only amounts to two issues of material, this hardcover is padded out with lesser—though not badly written by any means—stories teaming Gaiman with Simon Bisley, Mark Buckingham, Kevin Nowlan and Bernie Mireault, plus a sketchbook by Kubert."

Thoughts: Wow. I'm not sure what I can say about this novel. It was . . . Wow.

At first, it was a little confusing. After reading Cat Woman and Alfred's story of Batman's death, it is kind of hard to understand what it going on. In addition, it seems as though Bruce is there wondering what is truly going on. However, as the story progresses, it is very obvious and makes perfect sense.

This is a very philosophical view of Batman and the role that he plays in Bruce's life. Gaiman suggests that Batman is not merely an alter identity, but Bruce's actual identity. A few years ago, I wrote a big conference paper on the nature of Batman, and I really wish this had already been written. It would have added a different depth to my paper.

Anyways, I love Batman. I wanted to read this as soon as I saw Gaiman wrote something about him. The sketchbook in the back is really cool! Also, the mini comics are also a nice addition. However, the art style is no impressive! After looking at Andy Kubert's take on Batman legacy, the mini comics are painful and juvenile at best in their style.

Rating: 5/5
Currently: The Sandman vol. 9: The Kindle Ones by Neil Gaiman
Pages: 4698
Current Progress:
15/50 books


**Note: I did not finish Ill Wind by Rachel Caine. It was hard to get into, the writing style was not anything to write home about, and I was not enjoying the story. I might try to pick the book up again in a couple of months. Like Butcher, I might need to re-approach it at a different point.



Sinn

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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.